Chris Robshaw
Robshaw will captain England for a third Six Nations campaign in a row.

France face England in the opening 2014 Six Nations match at the Stade de France

Where to Watch Live

Kick-off is at 5pm GMT and is live on BBC One, BBC One HD, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra on Saturday 1 February.


Following two contrasting Six Nations campaigns in 2013, France and England clash in a match which is expected to shape this year's championship.

France suffered three defeats last year and finished bottom of the table while England missed out on the title and the grand slam after being shocked by Wales at the Millennium Stadium.

Philippe Saint-Andre's side have won just once in their subsequent six games, including four defeats to world champions New Zealand while Stuart Lancaster's England won a series against Argentina and overcame the Pumas and Australia in the autumn.

England are without a host of players for the Six Nations, most notably Manu Tuilagi, and that has forced a re-think in midfield with Luther Burrell set to partner Billy Twelvetrees in the centre, while with Chris Ashton's form showing no sign of improvement, Exeter's Jack Nowell wins his first cap.

Saturday's hosts are also suffering from an injury crisis and are without captain Thierry Dusautoir due to a bicep injury while Vincent Clerc and Morgan Parra are also absent.

Saint-Andre has been forced to blood a number of inexperienced players himself, with fly-half Jules Plisson handed his first international appearance and lock Alexandre Flanquart given his third cap.

England have prevailed in six of their last eight meetings with France, and their recent record in Paris is also good, with three wins from their last four.

The French will be hoping history can repeat itself this year, with Le Blue having won the championship in each of the past four years following a Lions tour.


France: 15-Brice Dulin, 14-Yoann Huget, 13-Mathieu Bastareaud, 12-Wesley Fofana, 11-Maxime Medard, 10-Jules Plisson, 9-Jean-Marc Doussain; 1-Thomas Domingo, 2-Benjamin Kayser, 3-Nicolas Mas, 4-Alexandre Flanquart, 5-Pascal Pape (captain), 6-Yannick Nyanga, 7-Bernard Leroux, 8- Louis Picamoles

Replacements: 16-Dimitri Szarzewski, 17-Yannick Forestier, 18-Rabah Slimani, 19-Yoann Maestri, 20-Antoine Burban, 21-Damien Chouly, 22-Maxime Machenaud, 23-Gael Fickou

England: 15-Mike Brown, 14-Jack Nowell, 13-Luther Burrell, 12-Billy Twelvetrees, 11-Jonny May, 10-Owen Farrell, 9-Danny Care; 1-Joe Marler, 2-Dylan Hartley, 3-Dan Cole, 4-Joe Launchbury, 5-Courtney Lawes, 6-Tom Wood, 7-Chris Robshaw (captain), 8-Billy Vunipola

Replacements: 16-Tom Youngs, 17-Mako Vunipola, 18-Henry Thomas, 19-Dave Attwood, 20-Ben Morgan, 21-Lee Dickson 22-Brad Barritt, 23-Alex Goode.

What the coaches say

Philippe Saint-Andre: "2013 was a more than difficult year from a results point of view.

"We embarked on a new cycle, a new generation and the apprenticeship was painful. I hope this year will be the year of effectiveness. We've got greater aptitude, greater experience. We're lucky to have played four times against the world champions and against South Africa.

"We gleaned experience against the two best teams in the world. Now we have to show that on the field; it's good to battle the best, but it's better to beat them."

Stuart Lancaster: "There is no fear factor that sometimes can build during players' careers in international rugby.

"Ultimately I've gone with my gut instinct which was probably formulated after watching training on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday last week.

"My instincts after the three days told me that Jack, Luther and Jonny were ready."